03/15/2013 2:32PM

Gulfstream, Calder year-round dates approved


Florida regulators on Friday rubber-stamped the dates applications for Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park, approving both tracks’ requests to begin racing year-round as of July 1.

Calder was approved for a total of 158 live racing dates, running three days a week, Friday through Sunday, from July 1 to June 30, 2014.

Gulfstream was approved for running Saturdays and Sundays from July 1 to Nov. 30; three days a week, Friday-Sunday, from Dec. 6 to Dec. 14; four days a week for the next three weeks; and then five days a week until March 30, during the prime winter dates. After that the track would run weekends again until June 30, 2014.

A company controlled by Gulfstream Park was also approved for two racing dates at the track, July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, both Mondays. The company, Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After Racing Program Inc., qualified for an operating permit by holding a Quarter Horse race early this year. Horsemen have said that the attempt to secure the permit was made solely to qualify for an additional casino license if legislation is passed to provide for expanded gambling in the county.

The two tracks submitted competing year-round applications in February. Negotiations to reach a deal on a schedule that would not include overlaps were unsuccessful, but talks are expected to resume as the July 1 overlap approaches.

Dates in Florida were deregulated in the late 1980s. Calder and Gulfstream have avoided running competing dates since then because of concerns about an undersupply of horses and competition for betting dollars.